How Bad Can Teeth Grinding Be? | Dentist in Reston

Dentist Reston

Teeth Grinding or Bruxism is a state, in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. You may unknowingly clench your teeth when you're awake or grind them during sleep. However, mild bruxism may not need treatment. When teeth grinding occurs on a daily basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral complications can emerge.

Who is at risk for Bruxism?

Any individual from toddlers to the elderly and everyone in between can grind their teeth.


  • If your teeth are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose

  • Worn tooth enamel, which exposes deeper layers of your tooth

  • Rising toothache or sensitivity

  •  Gum recession

  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won't open or close entirely

  • Pain or soreness  in your jaw, neck or face 

  • Disorders occurring in the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJs). It may sound like clicking when you open and close your mouth

  • Headache 

  • Harm from chewing on the inside of your cheek

  • Sleep disturbance

Why do people grind their teeth?

  • Awake bruxism – this happens due to emotions like anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension. Or it may be a coping strategy or a tendency during deep concentration.

  • Sleep bruxism - this happens due to sleep-related movement disorder. It can be snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).

Treating Teeth Grinding in Reston, VA

In several instances, treatment isn't required. However, if the issue is serious, options involve—

  • Few dental approaches -- If you or your kid has bruxism, your doctor may recommend methods to preserve or improve your teeth. You can get splints and mouth guards. They are designed to keep teeth separated to avoid any damage due to clenching and grinding. 

  • Dental Corrections -- In serious instances — when tooth wear has resulted in sensitivity or you can’t chew properly! Here your dentist may require reshaping the chewing surfaces of your teeth. He may also give you crowns to repair the damage.

  • Medications-- To stop more tooth damage and relieve your pain or discomfort.

  • If a poor airway is a factor then treatment will be given for the airway first. And sometimes the teeth grinding will stop.

  • Dietary changes, postural modifications, emotional therapy, stress counseling, sleep hygiene are some other treatments.

Talk with your Dentist in Reston, VA to find out which option may work apt for you.


What Can I Do to Cease Grinding My Teeth?

  • Avoid or cut back on food items and drinks containing caffeine. For example: colas, chocolate and coffee.

  • Avoid taking alcohol. Grinding usually intensifies after alcohol consumption.

  • Do not bite or chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum. Because this allows your jaw muscles to get more habituated to clenching and grinding.

  • When you notice that you clench/grind during the day, move the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice lets your jaw muscles relax.

  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by applying a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

Now, in case you're looking for a ‘Dentist near mein Reston, VA then get in touch with us at Expressions Dental Care. Dr. Han can provide you the best Teeth Grinding treatment!